Microsoft steps up focus on healthcare IT

The big fish just got more interested in a big market. Microsoft said last week it had agreed to acquire healthcare software that brings together all types of data from hundreds of sources to make it available to doctors electronically. Microsoft will take Azyxxi, a system devised at Washington Hospital Center, and continue its development so it can be offered to hospitals worldwide. Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft has formed an alliance with Columbia, MD-based MedStar Health--which owns several hospitals in the Washington area that use Azyxxi--under which Azyxxi's creators and 40 employees from the software development team will join Microsoft to commercially develop the system. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Craig Feied, director of the Institute for Medical Informatics at the Washington Hospital Center, said that Azyxxi functions as an "air traffic control system" to help doctors and nurses more quickly access critical data when they need to make decisions about patient care.

For more on what Microsoft is up to in healthcare IT:
- read the ComputerWorld article